Checklists, Sheep, Funerals, Mischief, Haunted Refrigerators, Candy Corn, and Doughnuts

October 30, 2021 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning my organized friends. Today is Saturday, October 30, 2021. October 30th is the 303rd day of the year, and 62 days remain.

Checklist Day 

Checklist Day is celebrated each year on October 30th. As you might infer, this holiday extolls the virtues of using checklists to better organize your daily life.
Checklists are a great way to remind you to pack what you need for a trip or as a reminder of the sequence of steps you need for a highly detailed activity. But, just how important are they?  Well, variations of the familiar checklist have probably been used for centuries, but the first recorded widespread use of a checklist came about due to a tragic aviation mishap.
On October 30, 1935, a prototype for the familiar Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber crashed during takeoff. The crew had forgotten to disengage a gust lock. As a result of this tragedy, a group of pilots instituted a series of checklists to be performed before takeoff, flight, and landing. These checklists helped to prevent future accidents and they were able to deliver their next batch of twelve B-17 aircraft without a mishap. In commemoration of the accident that led to a more widespread use of checklists, Checklist Day is now celebrated annually on the anniversary of the incident.
If you spent any time in the military, you know that the military is notorious for using checklists. They have checklists for everything from maintaining and operating the most sophisticated military hardware and equipment to making their beds in the morning. Other notable users of checklists are law enforcement, fire departments, medical facilities, and manufacturing facilities. Even auto mechanics use some kind of a checklist when they change the oil in your car.
But, are checklists important to me? I don’t have a critical job. Or, I’m retired, why do I need a checklist? Well, the answers to those questions are that we all use forms of checklists every day without even thinking about it. If you use a recipe to cook a new dish for dinner, you used a form of a checklist. If you made a shopping list to make sure you had all of the ingredients on hand to make that new dish, you used a form of a checklist. If you are one of those people who use a “day planner” you are making and using a form of a checklist. If you travel, chances are you use a checklist, either mental or written, to make sure that you pack everything you need for your trip – stop the newspaper and mail delivery, and make sure that all electric and gas appliances are turned off, etc.
So, as you can see, checklists are important and play a part in everyone’s daily lives, whether or not we are aware of it. So, to celebrate Checklist Day, begin today, and every other day hence, by making a checklist of the tasks you want to accomplish each day. And, in my humble opinion, somewhere near the top of your daily checklist should be “read Ernie’s Blog”.

Hug A Sheep Day 

Hug A Sheep Day is celebrated annually on the last Saturday in October. You needn’t be an ovine aficionado to deduce that this holiday urges us to hug a sheep today. This holiday was created by the “Crazy Sheep Lady” of Equinox Farms to celebrate the birthday of the first sheep she ever owned, Punkin. Punkin was rescued from the Bluegrass Stockyards in 1992 to prevent him from being slaughtered. When Punkin died in 2004, the Crazy Sheep Lady decided to create Hug A Sheep day to commemorate him and celebrate sheep in general, both wild and domesticated, and all ways they benefit mankind. From there it slowly grew to be an international affair with farms holding open farm days and other related events to help people show up and hug a sheep.
Sheep are a primary source of food in many cultures. Sheep’s milk gives us some of the best cheese available anywhere, and their meat is succulent and delicious. And, we all know that sheep provide us with wool for our warm winter socks and sweaters and a variety of other products, such as carpet. But did you know that they also give us lanolin to protect our skin as well? Lanolin is a natural water repellant and, in fact, in some places in the world, it is called wool grease or wool wax. It is secreted naturally by wool-bearing mammals to protect their wool and skin from the environment. We (humans) use lanolin in a variety of ways – from lubricants to cosmetics. Baseball players often use it to soften and break in their baseball gloves.
The best way to celebrate Hug A Sheep Day is to literally hug a sheep. I speak from personal experience when I say that hugging a sheep is one of the most satisfying sensations you’ll ever experience. If, by some odd chance, you don’t have a sheep to hug or know someone who does have a sheep that you can hug, then celebrate this holiday by donning your favorite wool sweater and researching all the ways sheep benefit mankind.

Create a Great Funeral Day 

Create a Great Funeral Day is celebrated every year on October 30th. Even if you aren’t a licensed mortician, you should be able to discern that this holiday urges us to create a great funeral – for ourselves, that is. This holiday was created in 1999 by Stephanie West Allen, who wrote the book “Creating Your Own Funeral or Memorial Service: A Workbook” after watching her husband struggle to pull together a meaningful funeral for his mother, who had left no directions for her funeral. Observing his grief, Allen felt that knowing what her mother-in-law might have wanted would have made organizing and holding a funeral so much easier. It is unclear why she chose October 30th as the date for this holiday.
Planning ahead is always a good thing. Even something as morbid and distasteful as a funeral should be thought out in advance. I don’t mean to disparage an entire profession, but most funeral homes make their living by preying on families who are grieving over the loss of a loved one and didn’t have a plan for a funeral in advance. You should discuss with your loved ones what their wishes are when they are gone. Do they want a big elaborate funeral, a small quiet ceremony with just family and a few close friends? (Do you have the money to comply with their wishes)?  Or perhaps, like me, they don’t want a funeral at all and want to be cremated – and have a “toast me and toss me” ceremony among family and friends where they toss their ashes somewhere of meaning to them, plant a tree in their honor, and then drink a toast to celebrate their life, not mourn their passing.
There’s still a lot of resistance by most families to the whole notion of planning funeral ahead of time. Funeral homes look upon it as a form of competition. If you are prepared, the “guilt trips” and other despicable means they use to profit from your grief probably won’t work. Plus, no one really wants to accept their own mortality so it is difficult to get them to discuss such matters.
But, fate is a fickle mistress. Anyone can go at any time, so having a plan only makes sense – if for no other reason than to alleviate the stress on the loved ones you leave behind. Create a Great Funeral Day urges us to be mindful and self-aware, to plan reflectively in advance, rather than reacting after losing someone dear.
You don’t need to be a genius to figure out ho to celebrate Create a Great Funeral Day.

Mischief Night 

Mischief Night, (aka Devil’s Night, Gate Night) is celebrated annually on October 30th. While most documentation and interpretations this holiday say that it is celebrated on the night before Halloween, some do say that it is celebrated on Halloween night. Mischief Night, or whatever else you want to call it, appears to have roots in England back to the nineteenth century.
In the 1950s when I was misspending my youth we called it “Gate Night”, but whether you call it Devil’s Night, Mischief Night, Gate Night, or something else entirely different, this holiday is an evening when young people traditionally participate in harmless mischief. Keep it harmless, please. To celebrate Mischief Night, go out and create a little mischief. Just bear in mind that there is a thin line between harmless mischief and vandalism, so don’t get too carried away with you mischievous pranks. You should also be aware that law enforcement takes a dim view of this holiday, and will be out in force.

Haunted Refrigerator Night 

Haunted Refrigerator Night is celebrated each year on October 30th. This obscure holiday urges us to exorcise any bits of decaying animal flesh, rotting vegetable matter, or curdling dairy products you find hiding in the bowels of your refrigerator – before they take on a life of their own.
“Who knows what evil lurketh in the nether regions of your refrigerator.” If you dare, celebrate Haunted Refrigerator Night by venturing into the depths of your refrigerator and finding those containers of leftovers that have been long forgotten. Although you probably won’t require the services of a priest for this exorcism, it is probably a good idea to have a stalwart friend or family member on hand to assist you in the undertaking of this endeavor – just in case. Slowly, slowly open these containers and prepare yourself for a sight more frightening and ghastly than any “haunted house” and beware, the toxic aroma trapped inside some of those containers may well render you unconscious.

National Candy Corn Day 

National Candy Corn Day is celebrated annually on October 30th. You don’t need to be a master confectioner to conclude that this holiday celebrated one of the world’s most popular candies this time of year – candy corn.
Candy corn is a confection long enjoyed in North America that is enjoyed any time of year, but especially around Halloween. This famous candy is said to have been invented in the United States by George Renninger in the 1880s, and it was originally made by hand.  It was made to mimic a kernel of corn and became instantly popular because of its innovative design. It was one of the first candies to feature three different colors.
Nowadays, candy corn is mass produced by Jelly Belly® using a recipe unchanged since about 1900. The National Confectioners Association estimates that 20 million pounds of candy corn are sold annually. Candy corn consists primarily of corn syrup, honey, and sugar, so it’s loaded with carbs, but on the plus side, there is little fat.
So, to celebrate National Candy Corn Day, enjoy a handful of this sweet treat today.

Buy a Doughnut Day 

Buy a Doughnut Day is celebrated each year on October 30th. As you might suspect, this holiday urges us to purchase a doughnut today. As you probably already know, I have already covered a number of different doughnut-related holidays so far this year, but to my knowledge, none that specifically request that you purchase a doughnut. This holiday doesn’t specify any particular type, style, or flavor of doughnut, just as long as you purchase one.
To review, a doughnut is a small, fried ring of sweet, leavened dough. Doughnuts leavened with baking powder are denser than the fluffier, yeast-leavened doughnuts. Originally a Dutch recipe without a hole, the dough is dropped into hot oil and, in fact, was originally called an olykoek, or ‘oily cake’.
The first written reference to “doughnut” is in Washington Irving’s 1809 in History of New York, where he writes of “balls of sweetened dough were fried in hog’s fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks.” It is said that in 1847, 16-year-old Hanson Gregory created the hole in the center of the doughnut by using the top of a round tin pepper container to punch the holes so the dough would cook quicker and more evenly.
There are many types of doughnuts. Just a few include Bismarck or jelly doughnuts, raised doughnuts leavened with yeast, squares, and twists, crullers made from twisted cake-doughnut dough and French doughnuts made with cream-puff pastry dough. They can be filled or unfilled, plain, glazed or iced.
So, to celebrate Buy a Doughnut Day, simply buy a doughnut today. Although not the healthiest snack choice, one doughnut, occasionally, won’t kill you too much. Besides, this holiday specifies only that you buy a doughnut, not that you eat it. If you are really concerned that eating a doughnut will adversely affect your health, you can buy a doughnut and give it to someone.  Additionally, when purchasing your doughnut you can also take comfort in knowing that, should the need arise, there is a strong possibility that there will be a policeman nearby.

Listed below are some other holidays celebrated on this date that deserve mention. 

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